Strange moment Lionel Messi wears the traditional Arab robe by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the Emir of Qatar before lifting the World Cup.
Lionel Messi suffered an awkward moment after Argentina’s World Cup victory on Sunday as he wore a robe before lifting the trophy.
The robe, a bisht traditionally worn on special or ceremonial occasions such as weddings or religious festivals, was put on by Emir of Qatar Messi while FIFA President Gianni Infantino gave him a standing ovation.
Bisht has been worn in the Arab world for thousands of years on formal occasions. They have been likened to a black tie in the Western world, but they also have connotations of power as they were often worn by royalty, officials, and clergy.
Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, won the World Cup after defeating France in Qatar
The Argentine captain wore a traditional Arabic bisht during the festivities
This meant that the Argentina jersey was partially obscured when they lifted the World Cup
Then the Argentina captain cut an odd figure as he hoisted his World Cup shirt partially shaded by a long black cape while his teammates remained in their playing kit only.
He later removed the mantle and was seen celebrating the victory in an Argentina jersey with three stars on it, one for every World Cup the nation now has one.
Some observers felt that the bisht was intended as a public relations tool for the Qatari regime, as one of the tweets stated:[An] Arab robe on Messi raises the cup. symbolic. A way to imprint culture on one of the most iconic images of all time.
Another added: ‘Messi finally wins the World Cup, and he’s been forced into a cape to lift the trophy. You don’t,” while some felt the Argentine No. 10 looked like an emperor.
Messi later removed the bisht to celebrate with the adorable Argentine crowd
Some fans felt the gesture was an attempt to celebrate the host nation
What is bisht?
The robe Lionel Messi wore as he lifted the World Cup was a bisht.
It is a garment that is generally worn on special occasions such as weddings.
They also denote strength and are often worn by officials or clerics.
Bishts are also worn on festive occasions such as the Muslim Eid.
Its role in formal occasions has been compared to that of a tuxedo in Western culture.
There was also concern that the festivities might be moved away from Argentina.
It should be a moment for the players, not the host. Very forgiving,” one tweet read.
Others agreed, saying the moment should have been his [Messi] and his nation.
It’s rare for a World Cup winner to be given a piece of homegrown clothing during the festivities but it’s unheard of that Pele had a sombrero to stand with after his victory in Mexico.
One fan felt this was a reason not to discuss the bisht in Qatar, telling the critics to “live your life and stop whining”.
Another felt that the robe’s association with royalty meant that it was appropriate to “recognize Messi as the king of football”.
There were also those who felt the cape was not worth considering, urging fans instead to “enjoy one of the greatest sporting moments we will ever witness.”
He scored two goals on goal and opened the penalty shootout with a classy finish
The lifting of the trophy came on the heels of a thrilling final that saw Messi’s side beat France on penalties after 120 consecutive minutes.
Didier Deschamps’ side looked out of contention in the first half as they trailed 2-0 thanks to goals from Messi and Angel Di Maria, but fought back late on thanks to two goals any minute from Kylian Mbappe.
Argentina were on top again when Messi scored again in injury time, but Mbappe’s late penalty kept the match alive.
He also made the French star the first man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final at the hands of Geoff Hurst in 1966, but was still on the losing side thanks to an excellent display from Emiliano Martinez against Argentina during the penalty shootout.
For many fans, Messi’s World Cup victory has put an end to the debate over who is the greatest footballer of all time, as he now lifts the one trophy that has so long eluded him.
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